|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 1-2
Dental practice management in the dental curriculum
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Vivekanandha Dental College for Women, Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||11-Oct-2019|
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Vivekanandha Dental College for Women, Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Maheswaran T. Dental practice management in the dental curriculum. Indian J Multidiscip Dent 2019;9:1-2
Recently, I realized the importance of “Dental Practice Management,” 14 years after my graduation while attending a continuing dental education (CDE) program at our dental institution. Practice management is often overlooked in the formal dental education system all over the world. The students of Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the first university-based dental school in the United States established in 1857, have consistently requested a practice management course as part of the core curriculum, understanding that running a successful business will be integral to their success as practitioners.
New dentists at the beginning of their individual clinical practice find themselves focusing on a number of administrative tasks, including financial planning, human resources management, legal compliance, buying equipment, maintaining inventories, and marketing management. Each of these areas requires skill sets that must be mastered to lead and manage a successful business enterprise.
It is also widely recognized that healthcare providers need appropriate interpersonal communication skills and that these skills can be learned. Good communication is the basis of effective patient care and management. Although the governing body in India (Dental Council of India) has outlined the basic portion of communication skill and patient psychology in dental syllabus, clarity as to how it will be taught (teaching methodology), who will teach that (qualification and expertise of teaching faculty), and when it should be taken (accommodation in existing curriculum) is not mentioned. Similarly, in many North American dental schools, training in interpersonal communication skills appears to be inadequate. It is not well integrated into the 4-year curriculum, does not include any theoretical background, is taught mostly using passive learning techniques, and does not include adequate student evaluation.
We excel in educating students in the art and science of dentistry by focusing on knowledge in the basic medical sciences and the development of clinical skills of dentistry. Practice management seems to be a subject that we dental educators never seem to get quite right. Surveys of graduating students usually point that as an area which needs improvement in their education., The traditional curricular path in which business and management skills are emphasized in dental schools is in practice management courses. In India, the present BDS course regulations (2007) of Dental Council of India prescribes dental practice management under the subject of public health dentistry.
Once a dental student leaves the academic environment, the business aspect of dentistry is often learned through mentoring by an established practitioner, on the job training, peer mentoring, and continuing education courses. For example, the CDE regulations (2018) of the Dental Council of India stipulates that every dentist has to secure minimum five credit hours/points on dental practice management, every 5 years. Yet, this approach may be dated for new graduates facing the challenges of today's complex and dynamic economic environments. Hence, implementation of well-integrated, adequate practice management curriculum during under graduation (BDS) will equip the dentist to deal effectively both the opportunities and challenges of dental profession.
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